Undergraduate: B.S. Education, Special Education
Earning your bachelor’s degree in education is your first step in becoming a certified teacher. Typical undergraduate programs in education are four years and provide students with the resources, qualifications and experience needed to become a certified teacher in their respective state. Average course loads include theory, fieldwork and practical application of skill. If your school offers a Bachelor’s in Special Education, coursework will include theory and practice in both general education and Special Education theory. While not all university programs offer a Bachelor’s in Special Education, earning your undergraduate degree in general education allows you to pursue your master's degree in special education.
Graduate M.S.Ed/MAT Special Education
Graduate degrees in Special Education are offered for both certified teachers looking to further validate their credentials, as well as those looking to complete their initial certification. Depending on your school’s program and/or course schedule, masters in education are typically completed in a two-year period and are scheduled to accommodate your work schedules — typically offering night and weekend classes. While not all states require a master’s degree in order to become a teacher, an advanced degree typically earns a higher salary and makes you eligible for more employment opportunities.
Earning a master’s degree in Special Education allows you to reach a wide range of students in a variety of both academic environments and disciplines. Depending on the programs offered at your local colleges/universities, master’s in Special Education degrees may offer programs in the following areas:
Autism Spectrum Disorders
Low-Incidence Disabilities (blindness, deafness, deaf-blindness, multiple disabilities)
Early Intervention, Early Childhood Special Education
Visit your local school’s site to find out more about their specific programs, and click here to find more about specific disabilities as outlined by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 2004 (IDEA).